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US population center moves almost 12 miles; still in Missouri

HARTVILLE, Mo. (AP) – Some people might describe Hartville, Missouri, as being in the middle of nowhere, but the U.S. Census Bureau says it’s the closest town to the middle of the nation.

The Census Bureau said Tuesday that the hamlet of about 600 people in the Missouri Ozarks was located about 15 miles from the center of the U.S. population distribution.

The nation’s population center is calculated every 10 years after the once-a-decade census shows where people are living. The heart of America has been located in Missouri since 1980.

The center moved only 11.8 miles from 2010 to 2020.

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